More of the writing staff share their most wanted games for 2018. (Part I of the story can be found here.)
A Way Out
I love co-op games in which teamwork is a necessary component in progressing to the next level. Portal 2’s co-op mode showcased this game style expertly. It was fulfilling to accomplish a mentally straining puzzle along side a friend. A Way Out’s description gives me a reminiscent taste back to my days on Portal 2. I’ve been in need of another puzzle-based cooperative game.
A Way Out’s premise is to escape a prison alongside a friend. It will be two-player split-screen regardless of whether it is local or online. This consistent split screen will promote teamwork and make it easier to communicate since you can see exactly what the other is doing. I love the idea, and I hope it is utilized in creative ways among the game’s puzzles. A Way Out was created by the same people who brought us Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Brothers was a personal favorite of mine and the first video game to get me so emotionally invested that I actually cried. I have high hopes for A Way Out.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human first came to my attention in 2016 with the exciting Connor trailer. The interesting investigative content and negotiation style of this character is exciting and could lead to many powerful moments. More than that I am interested to see how the three main characters, Connor, Kara, and Markus, will intersect. Connor seems like he is very by-the-book and would struggle to change his mind even in the face of adversity. He is a huge believer in the “you’re a machine, you have to obey” mentality he has been branded with.
Meanwhile Kara seems like she could be a mixed character. The original trailer detailed someone who wanted to live as a human and be happy in the world. The Paris Games Week trailer, however, detailed a different girl, who has a lot of love to give and will fight to save those she cares about. I know that trailer brought up a lot of mixed feelings regarding its portrayal of child abuse, but it is good to see the game prompting the conversation. There looks like there will be a lot of controversial subject in this game, but there is power in its exploration, which is part of the appeal for me. There are multiple deep topics to be explored, and these will be fascinating.
I loved Beyond: Two Souls. This one game got me excited to see what else its developer Quantic Dream could do. Their blend of intense sequences mixed with excellent narrative direction make their games exciting to play, and Detroit: Become Human promises that Quantic Dream charm and a whole lot more.
The futuristic world this game is set in looks intriguing for us to explore as we face the challenges of its society, the issues of being a “real person,” and the many confrontations that the protagonists will face. The stories of Connor and Kara excite me as I feel there is plenty of potential for these characters, with powerful moments to come. I am excited to see more of this world and its characters and to face the hard topics that I am glad Quantic Dream wants to explore and spread the conversation on.
Kirby: Star Allies
I am not the biggest Kirby fan. It is only in the last seven years that I learned Kirby was actually a huge franchise, and not just a random pink blob in the Smash Bros. roster. After playing some catch up with this franchise, I am excited to see where Nintendo will take us with Kirby: Star Allies. On the surface, the game looks very similar to most games in the series, but it has enough difference to feel unique and get me excited for another charming adventure.
The way you can turn enemies into allies is really clever and is sure to change up the way we approach levels. Even more impressive is using the ability fusion skill last seen in Kirby 64. There will be many mixtures that will be exciting to try out, and it'll be interesting to see how the level design will open to the ideas and benefit from the potential multitude of approaches. Kirby: Star Allies looks like a good time and a nice addition to the Switch’s roster in 2018.
Wow, this sounds strange to say, but, yes, I am excited for Spider-Man. For every good Spider-Man game in the past, we have been haunted by a terrible installment, to the point where I simply stopped caring. But with Insomniac (creators of Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive) at the helm, this game already has a lot more going for it. These developers are skilled at creating fun, silly stories and pairing them with excellent game mechanics, and if trailers are to be believed, then there is some great gameplay coming.
Rocksteady changed the landscape of these types of games with the Arkham series for Batman, and Spider-Man seems to take inspiration from the mechanics introduced there to make his abilities feel natural to the character. The tactical gameplay uses the environment to handle foes, and the wonderful combat blends hand-to-hand melee, web-slinging, and, of course, the environment. On top of this there are also sections that feature supporting characters and the actual Peter Parker. There is sure to be a plethora of great content. Now the only real question is: when can I get my hands on this game?
The trailer for Days Gone caught my attention in 2016, with its depressing atmosphere and voiceover. It had an excellent conversation on the state of the world, what our protagonist remembered and had even done, and paired it with a beautiful, haunting score that captured the ambiance of the world. This trailer got me excited for the prospect of a similar narrative to the The Last of Us, which was powerful in its story and inspired you to think, especially playing as another morally ambiguous character.
But 2017 reintroduced the game with a new trailer, and I am not convinced my thoughts on the potential power of the narrative will hold up. Instead, I was excited by the gameplay prospects. Days Gone looks like a clever game in how it uses its threats and world against the player and enemies, where you can set bear traps in long grass and lure an enemy over, or use the zombie like creatures, which come in droves, to clear out an encampment of human enemies, making it easier to reach your target. What is even more interesting is that the game has zombified animals. Naughty Dog considered this in The Last of Us, but Bend Studio is making it a reality. I can’t wait to see what else can be done in this game, and there looks to be a lot of exciting prospects.
Project Octopath Traveler
I am not much of an RPG fan. While I have certainly dabbled with the genre, I don’t find a lot of appeal in most of its games. Project Octopath Traveler is different. While it certainly plays similarly to other games, particularly classic entries in the genre, the use of its boost system changes things up, adding new layers of strategy.
Better than anything, though, is the beautiful world design. The simplistic nature of the artwork pairs nicely with the vibrant world. In many ways I just want to see more of this game, just to stare in awe at how the developers have managed to create such stunning art design out of such a simple direction. Paired with this is the interesting characters and their unique abilities, which will surely make this a memorable journey. The demo released months ago has only made me want to play through this game more.
Honorable mention I couldn’t help but include:
Dragon Quest Builders (Switch Version)
We know little about what Nintendo is bringing to the Switch in 2018, but at least some third parties are on board with exciting games to capture our attention. Dragon Quest Builders is an exciting prospect for the system. I played a decent portion of the game on PlayStation 4 and loved it; the exploration, paired with the Minecraft-style building, was a lot of fun. But I feel the portability of the Switch will benefit the game, and I am sure to spend more hours on this version then I ever did before. I might actually finish the entire game.
Tow Min Yi
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
Strange Journey Redux is a remake of an old Shin Megami classic, featuring new artwork by Masayuki Doi, voice acting, and a new character route. As someone who beat the original game, I am extremely excited to replay this title. In addition to being a masterful dungeon crawler, the original Nintendo DS game also had all the workings of a mainline SMT game, like choosing between the law, chaos and neutral routes, and demon fusion. As a fan of dungeon crawlers and Shin Megami Tensei, this game is truly the best of both worlds.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
With Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord still nowhere to be seen, fans of the first game have been itching for a meaty, medieval-esque RPG to sink their teeth into. This was reflected in how Kingdom Come: Deliverance smashed its Kickstarter goals, raising over $2 million in 2014. There have been numerous in-depth videos from the developer showcasing the game’s mechanics since then, touting period-accurate armours, clothing, combat techniques, and a highly interactive world where your choices have consequences.
This is Studio Warhorse’s first game, so things might not be as polished as, say, something from a AAA company, but the game looks very promising, so fingers crossed!